I don't know everything about politics, especially at the state level. It shouldn't be too hard to understand, right? Think again. See how a sneezing senator killed a bill that was clearly discriminating against the LGBT community.
With three minutes left in Utah's legislative session, at 11:57 p.m. on March 10 an anti-gay amendment arrived on the Senate floor. The amendment, from rabidly anti-gay GOP Rep. Lavar Christensen, would have barred same-sex couples from being joint tenants for tax purposes. Senate Bill 252 had already passed the Senate once. However, because Christensen amendeded it in the House, senators needed to concur with the changes.
After Sen. Curt Bramble introduced the bill, Senate President Wayne L. Niederhauser asked for a roll call vote. When the clerk called the name of Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis, the only openly gay member of the Legislature, he stalled by clearing his throat and sneezing, then seemed to fumble his words and ponder his vote, according to Salt Lake Tribune columnist Paul Rolly. Realizing Dabakis' stall tactics, Niederhauser said, "Passing, passing, go to the next one. C'mon, let's go." After all of the other senators had voted, the clerk called Niederhauser's name. "Aye, but we ran out of time," Niederhauser said. "All right, we're done."
Dabakis later wrote on Facebook:
My mini-filibuster. What they did was very meanspirited! SB 252 was a low blow anti-LGBT bill. It was pulled off the board at 11:57 PM. The session ends at midnight. As they rushed this redneck-pleasing, bad bill through, there was only one minute left to vote. Roll Call Vote. When it came my time to vote — I had to deliberate. A long time. Until the session ended! BTW, the bill would have changed the words in state law from 'married, or a married couple' to 'husband and wife.' The hamfisted attempt to pass the bill under the radar was at least sneaky and tacky, trying to exclude our Utah same sex married couples from the law. And if it had passed, it most likely would have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands in a lawsuit. Tacky. – thenewcivilrightsmovement.com
Gesundheit and Thank You Senator James Dabakis for having a brief, yet effective sneezing fit. Because of that, there's a little less legal hatred in the world. Here is what transpired on the Senate floor in Utah.
As I said, I do not understand state politics that well. It seemed that they ran out of time, but it also seems Niederhauser, even though he sad "yea" to the amendment, cut the session short by about three minutes. Is this a case of "don't look a gift horse in the mouth?"